gaap360

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Finding the House of GAAP on the Internet

One of the first lessons in most accounting courses is the House of GAAP, or what weight certain accounting guidance carries in generally accepted accounting principles. gaap360 takes you on a tour of the Internet to locate available  accounting principles within the categories of the infamous House. Some of the pieces of the House are free and available on the Internet – others come at a price.      

The House

The House of GAAP was first published in June 1984 by Steven Rubin in the Journal of Accountancy.  The House is comprised of four hierarchical categories of generally accepted accounting principles.  The four categories are set upon a foundation of basic concepts and broad principles.  Technically, the foundation does not establish GAAP, but rather provides basic principles and precepts by which GAAP is established. 

If accounting guidance is provided in more than one category, the guidance in the higher category (Category A being the most authoritative) has precedence.

Currently, the FASB, along with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), is reviewing the sources of GAAP in its ongoing Conceptual Framework Project.  This project may have future impact on the House.        

The Foundation

v      Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Concept Statements Free

Category A (the most authoritative GAAP)

v      FASB Statements of Financial Accounting Standards Free

v      FASB Interpretations Free

v      FASB Staff Positions Free

v      AICPA Opinions and Interpretations (not superseded) $

v      AICPA Accounting Research Bulletins (not superseded) $

v      SEC Rules and Interpretive Releases (for SEC registrants) Free

Category B (less authoritative GAAP than Category A)

v      FASB Technical Bulletins Free

v      AICPA Industry Audit and Accounting Guides $

v      AICPA Statements of Position (not superseded) $

Category C (less authoritative GAAP than Categories A and B)

v      EITF Consensus Positions Free

v      AICPA Practice Bulletins $

Category D (the least authoritative GAAP)

v      AICPA Accounting Interpretations Free

v      FASB Staff Q & As Free

In addition, widely recognized industry practices fall into this category.

Useful websites for all accounting students

v      Securities & Exchange Commission

v      Public Company Accounting Oversight Board

v      Financial Accounting Standards Board (including EITF)

v      American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

v      International Accounting Standards Board

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Filed under: ACADEMIC

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